Heeding Haiku With HA: Free Writing To Nature

Are we ready? Huh!? 🙂

Let’s have a little historical dose first. The history of haiku can be traced back to the ancient Japanese poetry form renga or renku, which are collaborative poems with an opening stanza known as hokku. It was in 19th century that haiku got its name by which it is widely known today. Masaoka Shiki renamed the hokku to haiku as a standalone poem written by one.

The English Haiku has come out to be a popular form in the modern times. It all began in the 20th century when poets like Ezra Pound began writing hokku. Later, writers like Jack Kerouac and Richard Wright particularly popularized the form during the American Beat Period by writing the original haiku in English, like the way we know today.

Whitecaps on the bay:

A broken signboard banging

In the April wind.

© Richard Wright

The low yellow

moon above the

Quiet lamplit house.

© Jack Kerouac

That is the basic introduction of how a Japanese poetic form found its presence in the Western culture and how it came out to become the form that many of us love today.

The basic rules for writing an English haiku are:-

1. Three lines, patterned in syllable count of 5-7-5. Though, they can be written in a single line. The idea of lines is to create a shift or to create a slight pause.

2. The words do not rhyme.

3. The presence of a season word or a reference to a season is an important component of haiku. It is derived from the original idea of including a Japanese kigo or season word in hokku.

4. The use of a caesura or a line break to compare the two images presenting in a haiku. It is a way of creating a relation between them.

For today, we will just focus on the first three rules. You may follow them or you may not follow them because I am a rule breaker myself. Moreover, haiku is one such form which can not be stereotyped by a fixed set of rules.

So, I would tell you a way of writing a haiku.

Writing haiku is capturing a moment. It is all about sensing the world breathing around you. If you pay attention, you can see the dance of a leaf as it falls down, the colours of the setting sun and inhale the scent of the spring air; and feel the goose bumps rise on your skin looking at the myriad of natural colours around you; and hear the concerto of the barking dogs. Go out, try to touch the sky, feel, sense, perceive, listen… and now write down whatever you see, feel, hear, and sense, all encompassed together in three lines.

And that is the prompt for you today. I am encouraging you to write a haiku for the prompt this time. We will leave writing a tanka for later on.

I am Anmol a.k.a. HA, hosting the haiku prompt today. You have seven days to participate and submit your links. You can write as many haiku in your post, as you would like. I’d suggest somewhere between 2 and 4. Also, you can submit more than one link as of now to the prompts, to the linking widget below. And if you can, visit the links of other participants and share your feedback about their creations.

You may also add the following tags to your posts: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and HeedingHaikuWithHA. Happy Writing. 🙂


  1. The post came up about 9:05 am (at least that is when I first saw it) and I know you set it for 6:00 am I think it gives us some idea of the lag with scheduled posts. On another note fabulous job I love the history and of course I love Jack Kerouac


    • This would have happened to me twice last week once here and once on We Drink…I put the schedule at 6:00 am GMT + 1 and it didn’t publish and I couldn’t take the scheduling off so I had to re-copy my posts and then publish them throwing away the originals!


      • I live in Italy and we have the same time zone – that shouldn’t have happened! I don’t know what the problem is but it seems a WP thing.


    • Ah! I signed in to check if it was published or not.
      Now that I know of the time lag, how about I save a draft from next week on and you schedule it or post it accordingly? 🙂


      • I can post or you can experiment with scheduling 3 hours in advance maybe it comes early maybe it comes around time (it is all very mysterious to me). I do not mind to publish but if you want me to please just save as unscheduled draft because as Bastet said once scheduled you have to redue the whole post to publish


    • Yes, I noticed. The schedule thing has troubled me in the past but I thought, the glitch must have been over by now. I guess not. 🙂
      And I am looking forward to read your composition.


  2. Great post Anmol … I am glad that you are so in haiku. You did describe it right. Haiku is becoming one with nature and catch that feeling of oneness in just three lines. Awesome!


    • I had just started writing haiku when I came across Carpe Diem and since then, I have followed your lessons and prompts(with substantial gaps in between). You have been an inspiration to me. Thank you for all that you do. 🙂


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